Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Columbia River Bar to Westport.

Its 0400 hrs and we are up and ready to go. We don our survival suits, Joyce takes the trash and retrieves the electrical cord,  I bless Shatoosh, we had some breakfast, and it is 0515 when we pull away form the dock.
0527- out on the river and the sky is opening with some sun. Perhaps this is a good omen. The seas flat, winds variable from the north.

Hira is happy to see the sun rise.

A fishing troller comes out of Ilwaco and heads out to the bar. He has his outriggers out and I think he is trolling, so keep my distance. Joyce is at the helm for this bar crossing.

An inbound tug and fuel barge crosses the bar, so we pull to starboard and begin following the the green navigation aids, which puts us closer to the troller. We see Buoy 10 across the channel. There are too many pelicans, gulls to count and 3 sea lions explode out of the water in front of us. Did Marsha have a psychic vision when she drew our farewell illustration? We are really taken aback, when a small rainbow begins to appear in front of our course and it suddenly grows into a full bow spanning  from the Oregon Clatsop Spit Jetty to the north jetty of the Washington coast.

The troller is moving slower and we are gaining on him and our courses are merging as we approach the outer end of the north jetty. I radio him and ask him about his course and if he has lines/nets out? No lines/nets and he is just going slow taking his time to get out. I tell him we are headed out and plan to turn north. He says to stay out  before we turn and I reply, that we are turning at C1. He said he'd slow down more and let us over take him. From C3 to C1 along Peacock spit, the seas were 4 ft rollers on our starboard beam, our speed 7.5 k and Joyce had to do some tricky maneuvering to keep us steady. After we make our turn north and hang on our course for a while the seas begin to calm down, stabilize and flatten out. Joyce and I smile and agree that we are going to like this run up the coast.

0930 hrs: we pick up  crab pots off our port side. They are set along the 60 fathom line and end at 1010 hrs. At 0945 hrs, Joyce is lookout and spots a whale. They surface again and it is a male and female Orca swimming at a 45 degree angle towards our port mid ship area. They surface dive again and we see them speeding long behind our stern. What a Treat!

At some point my Waikiki Yacht Club burgee looses a tie, so I send Joyce up forward through the cabin to take it off. The gentle 5 knot breeze and the ocean smells give her a "Titanic High Moment". Later the ecstasy wears off and she is is blanketed with sleepiness. First Mates are strange at times.

It is delightful to see so many sea birds. Large flocks were all over our little part of the Pacific.

The afternoon speeds drop some from the high 6-7 knot ranges to low 5-6 knot ranges. We pick up the Entrance Buoy "GH" for Gray's Harbor and make a red right return up the channel to Westport. Numerous sea lions are lying on the buoys and one family with a young pup takes to the water when we cruise by.

1453 hrs: We are at the fuel dock taking on 8 gallons of fuel. then move over to the transient dock"6". The sun comes out, we have some hot coffee, have a nice dinner on the docks, do some chores: haul ice, fix the burgee, fill the water tank, make tuna fish salad for tomorrow's lunch and I tend to the blog.
Thank you all for all the nice emails, blessings and Reiki. I prayed for a beautiful crossing and got much more.
It was another incredible and perfectly orchestrated day by divine intervention.